The role of libraries in disseminating knowledge at university: the Institut National Polytechnique, Toulouse

University libraries are now in a favourable position to play a major role in disseminating knowledge. Developing digital resources and the parallel development of the movement in favour of free access to scientific information offer university librarians the opportunity to take up a central role in disseminating knowledge by acting as “publisher”. Creating “virtual” services in association with university research, such as open archives of publications, theses, and on-line teaching materials, can also offer the opportunity to make the most of the library as a space, setting up new activities and turning them into a hub for all participants in the knowledge process, actively encouraging knowledge building. An experiment carried out at the Institut National Polytechnique in Toulouse demonstrates how creating an open archive and de-centralising management for the services in question opens libraries up for new functions, placing them at the heart of teaching and research.